OHC Volunteer Tracy Tucker Gives Back
Tracy Tucker has volunteered all her life. Married to Tom and with two grown children, she gave many hours to the school band, football events, and school PTA. She never imagined that she would be volunteering in a cancer practice. We sat down with Tracy to ask her a few questions.
How did you come to OHC for your care?
In March 2012, I was referred to OHC Medical Oncologist Dr. Peter Ruehlman after being diagnosed with breast cancer, which was found on a routine mammogram. I was fortunate as my treatment was uneventful. I had a right mastectomy, 4 rounds of chemotherapy and elected to have breast reconstruction. I celebrated my last treatment in May 2012.
How was your cancer treatment at OHC?
I felt fortunate because my treatment was not as difficult as other patients. I did experience the more common side effects with chemotherapy, but felt they could have been worse and was lucky I did not experience any complications. The OHC staff became like family. They were so kind and empathetic. They were a huge support, along with my family and friends.
Why did you decide to volunteer at OHC?
I wanted to give back. I had the time and wanted to help others. Even though I work full time, I felt a need to help others. I have been a volunteer at OHC now for 3 years.
What advice do you give other cancer patients?
You have to develop relationships and get to know their preferences around comfort measures: do they like things cold or warm, sweet or savory. I also tell them, ‘I am going to give you two pieces of advice. First: Salt water, swish, and spit’ (that was the best remedy for sores in your mouth). Second: ‘You decide when to take your hair off before you lose it.’ That was a decision that helped me. I tell patients they can ask me anything they want after that!
What has been the best part of volunteering at OHC?
I feel like I am helping others. I believe I offer companionship and a listening ear. I call them my “peeps” and look forward to seeing them every week.
We are so grateful for Tracy Tucker and all of the wonderful OHC volunteers that help us support our patients and their families.